Mark Kirk

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Mark Kirk
Mark Kirk.jpg
U.S. Senate, Illinois
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 3
PartyRepublican
PredecessorRoland W. Burris (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First elected2010
Next generalNovember 2016
Campaign $$28,447,411
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
2001-2010
Education
High schoolNew Trier East High School (1977)
Bachelor'sCornell University
Master'sLondon School of Economics
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1989-Present
Personal
BirthdaySeptember 15, 1959
Place of birthChampaign, Illinois
ProfessionAttorney, Commander in U.S. Navy Reserve
Net worth$383,001
ReligionUnited Church of Christ[1]
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Mark Steven Kirk (b. September 15, 1959, in Champaign, IL) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Illinois. Kirk was elected to the Senate on November 2, 2010, winning a special election to serve the final weeks of President Barack Obama's Senate term, in addition to winning a regular six-year term that began on January 3, 2011.[2]

Kirk had a stroke on January 21, 2012, and as a result was unable to work while recovering. He missed all 189 roll-call votes in the Senate in 2012.[3]

On November 4, 2013, Kirk gave his first speech since suffering a major stroke in January 2012, in which he urged support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to ban workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender workers.[4]

He is scheduled to run for re-election in 2016.

Kirk previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2010.[5]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Kirk is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Republican Party line more than his fellow members.

Biography

Born in Champaign, IL, he graduated from Cornell University, London School of Economics, and Georgetown University Law Center. He practiced law throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He joined the United States Navy Reserve in 1989 and was recalled to active duty for the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. He participated in Operation Northern Watch in Iraq the following year. He remains a member of the U.S Navy Reserve, now holding the rank of Commander.

Kirk was elected to the House in 2000. During his fifth term in November 2010 he won a special election to finish the final months of former Senator Barack Obama's term and he began a six-year Senate term beginning in 2011.[2]

Career

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Kirk serves on the following Senate committees[6][7]:

2011-2012

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[9] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Kirk's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[10]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Kirk voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[11]

Economy

Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[12] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[13] Kirk joined with 19 other Republican senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[14][15] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[15] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[16] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Kirk voted with the 17 Republican and the 55 Democratic members in favor of the bill.[14][15]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[17] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Kirk voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[18]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Kirk voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[11]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Nay3.png Kirk voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[11] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Kirk was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[11]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Kirk voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[11]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Kirk voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[11]

Background checks on gun sales

Yea3.png On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases.[19] The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold.[20] Kirk was one of the 4 Republican Senators who voted in favor of the measure.[21]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Neutral/Abstain Kirk did not cast a vote regarding the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[22]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Mark Kirk's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Kirk is a Moderate Conservative. Kirk received a score of 36 percent on social issues and 64 percent on economic issues.[23]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[24]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[23]

Social issues

Employment Non-Discrimination Act

On November 4, 2013, Kirk gave his first speech since suffering a major stroke in January 2012, in which he urged his colleagues to support passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to ban workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender workers.[4]

Kirk and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin were co-sponsors of the ENDA legislation.[4]

Kirk asked permission from the presiding officer to deliver his remarks while seated, and addressed the full Senate for about a minute.[4]

In his speech he said, “I would say that I have been silent for the last two years due to a stroke, a little under two years ago. I’ve risen to speak because I’m so, because I believe so passionately in enacting the ENDA statute, which is, you know this is not a major change to law. I would say it’s already the law in 21 states. I think it’s particularly appropriate for an Illinois Republican to speak on behalf of this measure,” he said, citing the late Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen’s support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to pass the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.[4]

Gay marriage

Kirk became the second Republican Senator to speak out in favor of gay marriage in April 2013.[25] He followed Rob Portman (R) of Ohio, who announced his support of same-sex marriage in March 2013.[25]

In a statement on April 2, 2013, Kirk stated, "“When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others. Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back— government has no place in the middle.”[26]

Illness

Kirk had a stroke on January 21, 2012, and as a result was unable to work while recovering. He missed all 189 roll-call votes in the Senate in 2012.[27]

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Mark Kirk endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [28]

Elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Kirk won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias (D), LeAlan M. Jones (G), Mike Labno (L), Robert L. "Bob" Zadek (I), Will Boyd (I), Corey Dabney (I), Susanne Atanus (I), Shon-Tiyon "Santiago" Horton (I), Avner Nager (I), Stan Jagla (I), Darren Raichart (I) and Lowell M. Seida (I) in the general election.[29]

U.S. Senate, Illinois General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Steve Kirk 48% 1,778,698
     Democratic Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias 46.4% 1,719,478
     Green LeAlan M. Jones 3.2% 117,914
     Libertarian Mike Labno 2.4% 87,247
     Independent Robert L. "Bob" Zadek 0% 561
     Independent Will Boyd 0% 468
     Independent Corey Dabney 0% 33
     Independent Susanne Atanus 0% 19
     Independent Shon-Tiyon "Santiago" Horton 0% 16
     Independent Avner Nager 0% 15
     Independent Stan Jagla 0% 12
     Independent Darren Raichart 0% 9
     Independent Lowell M. Seida 0% 3
Total Votes 3,704,473

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kirk is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Kirk raised a total of $28,447,411 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[30]

Mark Kirk's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Illinois) Won $14,305,287
2008 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $5,451,604
2006 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $3,168,367
2004 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $1,747,924
2002 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $1,705,510
2000 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $2,068,719
Grand Total Raised $28,447,411

2010

Breakdown of the source of Kirk's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Kirk won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Kirk's campaign committee raised a total of $14,305,287 and spent $14,079,356 .[31]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Kirk's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $251,002 and $515,000. That averages to $383,001, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Kirk ranked as the 88th most wealthy senator in 2012.[32] Between 2004 and 2012, Kirk's calculated net worth[33] decreased by an average of 5 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[34]

Mark Kirk Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$633,241
2012$383,001
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-40%
Average annual growth:-5%[35]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[36]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Kirk is a "centrist Republican," as of July 22, 2014. This was the same rating Kirk received in June 2013.[37]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[38]

Kirk most often votes with:

Kirk least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Kirk missed 311 of 1,058 roll call votes from November 2010 to July 2014. This amounts to 29.4 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[39]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Kirk paid his congressional staff a total of $2,451,707 in 2011. He ranked 25th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 34th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Illinois ranked 9th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[40]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year.

2013

Kirk ranked 36th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[41]

2011

Kirk ranked 43rd in the conservative rankings in 2011.[42]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.

2014

Kirk voted with the Republican Party 72.7 percent of the time, which ranked 43rd among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[43]

2013

Kirk voted with the Republican Party 73.8 percent of the time, which ranked 44th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[44]

Personal

In February 1998, Kirk met his future wife, Kimberly Vertolli, a Naval Intelligence Officer, by chance, while the two were on duty together at the Pentagon.[45]After 8 years of marriage, the two separated, finalizing their divorce in the summer of 2009.[46] Reports have noted that the divorce was an amicable one and the two remain close friends.[47] Kirk currently resides in Highland Park, IL.[2]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mark + Kirk + Illinois + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Mark Kirk News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. United Church of Christ News, "Barack Obama, candidate for President, is UCC," accessed October 14, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Mark Kirk--Senator for Illinois, "About Mark," accessed October 14, 2011
  3. Chicago Tribune, "Return uncertain for 2 Illinois members of Congress," accessed September 10, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Chicago Tribune, "Kirk gives 1st Senate speech after stroke, backs bill against anti-gay bias," accessed November 11, 2013
  5. Bioguide, "Mark Kirk," accessed June 21, 2013
  6. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  7. United States Senate, "Mark Kirk Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  8. Mark Kirk--Senator for Illinois, "Committee Assignments," accessed October 14, 2011
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Project Vote Smart, "Mark Kirk Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  12. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  18. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. NPR "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales" accessed April 19, 2013
  20. Fox News "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents" accessed April 19, 2013
  21. NPR "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote" accessed April 19, 2013
  22. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 On The Issues, "Mark Kirk Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  24. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Politico, "Mark Kirk endorses gay marriage," accessed April 2, 2013
  26. U.S. Senate, "Mark Kirk," accessed April 2, 2013
  27. Chicago Tribune, "Return uncertain for 2 Illinois members of Congress," accessed September 10, 2012
  28. Chicago Tribune, "Kirk to throw support to Romney," accessed December 19, 2011
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. Open Secrets, "Mark Kirk," accessed April 3, 2013
  31. Open Secrets, "Mark Kirk 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 7, 2011
  32. OpenSecrets, "Mark Kirk (R-IL), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  33. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  34. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  35. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  36. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  37. GovTrack, "Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  38. OpenCongress, "Rep. Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  39. GovTrack, "Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  40. LegiStorm, "Mark Kirk" accessed 2012
  41. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  42. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  43. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  44. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  45. Chicago Sun Times, "Kirk: Lawmakers' wife splits for D.C.," accessed October 14, 2011
  46. Abc7chicago, "Rep. Mark Kirk, wife divorcing," accessed October 14, 2011
  47. Huffington Post:Chicago, "Rep. Mark Kirk's Divorce To Be Finalized," accessed October 14, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Roland Burris
U.S. Senate-Illinois
2010–present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
'
U.S. House of Representatives-Illinois
2001–2010
Succeeded by
'